Welcome to our comprehensive guide on disclosure of personal information without consent and how to claim compensation for it. We have created this guide to provide you with everything you need to know about your data protection rights and potential compensation claims in the event of a data breach.
With the increasing prevalence of digital technology and the internet, the amount of personal data being collected, processed, and stored by organisations has skyrocketed. As a result, the risk of personal data breaches has become a serious concern for individuals, as well as businesses and other organisations that handle personal data.
This guide will help you understand your rights when it comes to protecting your personal data and what steps you can take if your personal information is disclosed without your consent. We will explore the legal remedies available for data breaches, including compensation claims, and provide you with insights into how to calculate compensation for data breach claims.
If you have experienced a data breach, it is essential to seek legal advice as soon as possible. Our team of experts can provide you with tailored advice and guidance on your individual circumstances. So, if you have questions or would like to begin a claim, get in touch with us today. We are here to help you every step of the way.
What is a Data Breach and How Does it Happen?
A data breach is the unauthorised or unlawful disclosure, access, or destruction of personal data. It can happen in various ways, such as a cyber attack, theft of hardware devices, human error, or deliberate actions by individuals with access to personal data.
Under the UK’s Data Protection Act 2018 and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), organisations are required to protect personal data from unauthorised access, disclosure, or destruction. They must have appropriate technical and organisational measures in place to ensure the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of personal data.
If a data breach occurs, organisations must report it to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) within 72 hours of becoming aware of it. Failure to do so can result in significant fines and reputational damage.
Understanding Your Data Protection Rights
As an individual, you have certain data protection rights under UK law. These include the right to be informed about the collection and use of your personal data, the right to access your personal data, the right to have inaccurate personal data corrected, and the right to have your personal data erased in certain circumstances.
You also have the right to object to the processing of your personal data, the right to restrict processing, and the right to data portability. These rights are designed to give you more control over your personal data and how it is used by organisations.
It is important to note that organisations must have a lawful basis for processing personal data. This means they must have a valid reason for processing the data and must comply with the data protection principles set out in the GDPR.
How Could A Disclosure Of Personal Information Happen?
There are several types of errors that can result in the wrongful disclosure of personal information. One common type of error is sending an email to the wrong recipient. This can occur when an individual accidentally selects the wrong recipient or sends the email to a similar-looking email address.
Another type of error is leaving a document or file containing personal information in an unsecured location, such as on a desk or in a public place. This can happen when an employee forgets to secure the document or file or does not follow proper procedures for handling sensitive information.
Errors can also occur when an employee fails to properly dispose of personal information, such as by throwing documents containing personal information in a regular bin instead of shredding them.
In some cases, errors can also result from inadequate training or lack of awareness about data protection policies and procedures. Employees may not understand the importance of protecting personal information or may not know how to identify and report potential data breaches.
Regardless of the type of error, organisations have a responsibility to take appropriate measures to prevent data breaches and ensure that employees are trained and aware of their data protection obligations.
Can You Claim Compensation for Disclosure of Personal Information Without Consent?
If an organisation has disclosed your personal information without your consent, you may be entitled to claim compensation for any damage or distress caused by the breach. The GDPR and the Data Protection Act 2018 allow individuals to seek compensation for material or non-material damage resulting from a data breach.
Material damage refers to financial losses, such as identity theft or fraud, while non-material damage includes emotional distress or reputational damage. The amount of compensation awarded will depend on the specific circumstances of the case.
If you believe you have suffered as a result of a data breach, it is important to seek legal advice as soon as possible. Our team of experts can help you determine whether you have a valid claim and guide you through the claims process.
Factors That Affect Your Data Breach Compensation Claim
To be eligible to make a data breach compensation claim, you must have suffered damage or distress as a result of the breach. The damage or distress can be physical, financial, or emotional. You must also be able to demonstrate that the breach was the result of the organisation’s wrongful actions when it comes to their responsibility to protect your personal data adequately.
In addition, there is a time limit for bringing a claim for a data breach. In the UK, the time limit is typically six years from the date of the breach. However, some claims have shorter time limits. It is essential to seek legal advice as soon as possible to ensure you do not miss the time limit for bringing a claim.
How to Calculate Compensation for a Data Breach Claim
Compensation can include damages for financial losses, such as identity theft or fraud, and damages for non-material harm, such as emotional distress, anxiety, or loss of privacy. The court will consider the impact of the breach on your life and the severity of the harm caused.
The amount of compensation awarded for a data breach claim depends on various factors, such as the nature and extent of the damage or distress suffered, and the circumstances of the breach. The Judicial College Guidelines provide a framework for calculating compensation for psychological injuries.
If you’d like further insight into calculating compensation, please see our compensation calculator or call an advisor for further insight.
Conditional Fee Agreements and No Win No Fee Claims
Conditional Fee Agreements (CFAs) are commonly known as No Win No Fee agreements. They allow you to pursue a compensation claim without having to pay upfront legal fees. If your claim is successful, the costs are paid by the other side. If your claim is unsuccessful, you will not typically have to pay your solicitor.
The Conditional Fee Agreements Order 2013 regulates CFAs and sets out the requirements for the agreement. Before entering into a CFA, it is essential to understand the terms and conditions, including the success fee and any additional costs that may be incurred.
No Win No Fee claims can provide access to justice for those who cannot afford to pay legal fees upfront. They also ensure that solicitors have a vested interest in winning the case, as their fee is linked to the success of the claim. However, it is important to consider the risks and benefits of a No Win No Fee claim before proceeding.
How To Start A Claim
Here are the steps you can take to start a claim:
- Gather Evidence – The first step is to gather evidence that supports your claim. This may include any documentation related to the breach, such as emails, letters, or receipts.
- Contact the Organisation – Next, you should contact the organisation responsible for the breach and inform them that you intend to make a claim for compensation. You should provide details of the breach, including the type of personal information that was disclosed, when and how the breach occurred, and the impact it has had on you.
- Seek Legal Advice – It is important to seek legal advice from a data breach compensation expert who can advise you on the strength of your claim and your chances of success. They can also guide you through the claims process and ensure that you receive the compensation you are entitled to.
Starting a claim for wrongful disclosure of personal data can be a complex and challenging process, but with the right support and guidance, you can achieve a successful outcome and receive the compensation you deserve.
If you’re interested in getting started, speak to one of our advisors by phone 0800 408 7827, contact form or live chat. Our advisors are available to connect you with a data breach solicitor who can help you begin a claim and provide you with the support and guidance you need throughout the process.
Further Information On Disclosure Of Personal Information Without Consent
A Guide To School Data Breach Compensation Claims – Find information on school data breaches here.
Can I Make A Data Breach Claim Against A Government Agency? – Learn more about your rights.
Data Breach FAQs – Your questions answered.
Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) – Guidance on data protection.
Gov.uk – The UK Government’s Cyber Aware website:
NCSC – Cyber security advice can be found here.